Mental Disorders in Children

It is unfortunate, but the truth is that mental disorders affect people of all ages, including children. A few of the common mental disorders in children include anxiety, disruptive behavior, pervasive development, eating disorder, mood disorder, schizophrenia and tic disorders. iStock_000020040080MediumAccording to a report from the U.S. Surgeon General, around 20% of American children are affected by a mental disorder.

The mental disorders in children mentioned above are quite common in adults as well. Anxiety disorders, eating disorder and tic disorders are the most common in children. These mental disorders make it hard for children to go through school or even take on daily life. They can be extremely moody and unwilling to be cooperative with their parents or teachers.

There are several symptoms that can be seen with mental disorders in children. Children experiencing a mental disorder will often times show poor performance in school, resort to drugs and be unwilling to cope with daily activities. Their behavior could be extremely erratic at times as well, resorting to things like shoplifting and damaging public property.

A number of factors can cause mental disorders in children. These factors include biology, psychological trauma, heredity and environmental stress. Genetics can play a significant role in one’s mental condition, often times passed down from the child’s parents. Trauma from a particular experience in life can also cause mental disorders in children.

Mental disorders in children can be diagnosed by understanding the symptoms and the signs the child is experiencing. By taking the various symptoms into consideration, the condition can be diagnosed to see exactly what is bothering the child.

In children, mental disorders are treated just like they are treated among adults. The treatment is generally ongoing for several weeks. Unlike treatment with adults, it is much more complex with children. However, treating mental illnesses in children is done through medications, psychotherapy and creative therapies. Medications can include antidepressants, mood stabilizer medications and antipsychotics. Creative therapy is a playful way of going about therapy for children, in order to better understand their feelings and thoughts.

After full treatment, children will be able to better control their thoughts, feelings and symptoms. However, upon complete treatment, children are usually better and can go about their daily life without mental obstacles. If your child is showing signs of mental illness, it is extremely important to get the help they need as early on as possible. In certain cases, the conditions can get worse over time without treatment.

Children who are not treated properly for mental disorders can display abusive behaviors, make erratic decisions and resort to drug abuse, violence and even suicide in some cases. There is a lot of research that is being put into understating mental disorders in children, so no child should be left out of proper treatment and therapy!